Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Enter The Monkey Fist

The Monkey Fist knot is usually tied at the end of a rope to make it (the rope) easier to throw ashore.

But in recent years the Monkey Fist has become near-legendary in survivalist circles as "traditional sailor weapon" 

Monkey Fists ARE dangerous....

Well, I can not vouch for that but I can guarantee you that a weighted Monkey Fist is a game changer:

- It is easy to use (if you keep it short!)

- Thanks to the centripetal force even a relative light Monkey Fist has a massive "UMPF" 

- It puts you 50 cm from where the fight is

- It is easy to make and the materials are widely available

I  made this little demo on how to make a Monkey Fist with filling (a 400 g stone)


Monday, December 26, 2016

A Grande Arte (Exposure)

I suppose this movie got a lot of guys developing an interest for floor to ceiling mirrors and incense sticks.

What I am talking about?

The training methods of Hermes The Knife Master of course: Same methods he applied during his schooling of an American photographer in the dark art of South American knife fighting.

Why does an american photographer do that? Never mind, the story has plot holes so big you could drive a truck through it.

But if you can look past that minor flaw you got one of the best movies about knife fighting in existence: The fighting scenes are well performed and least to a person like me who`s master plan when confronted with a knife is squealing: "He/she/it got a KNIFE!" (And RUN!)

So if you are some socially alienated shiv nerd who likes to watch sweating guys fondle Applegate-Fairbairn knives in a morgue: This is THE movie to you.

"A Grande Arte" (Exposure) 1991

Peter Coyote as Peter Mandrake

Tcheky Karyo as Hermes

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Coping With Cold

Cold kills faster than dehydration or starvation.

So of course shelter and warmth should be your number one priority. Unfortunately ,even in our days, a roof over your head does not guarantee that you will make it through a winter. Many persons in Europe die of exposure in their own 4 walls every year because they can not afford fuel/heat to keep them alive.

Or because commodities like heating, water or electricity can not longer be provided because those who make the wheels turn are dead or otherwise hindered in doing their job.

An apartment cools out completely after ca 24 hours an it will be very hard to get it back to its prior temperature without using a lot of energy you do not have access to in a SHTF scenario.

But there are ways to keep you comparable warm in your apartment/house without using much more than your body heat and everyday household items.

Create Sections

The one thing you want to keep warm are the bodies in your place, do you really want to warm the walls and windows? Not really, so cut them off the heat supply by hanging beds sheets or ANYTHING ELSE that will stop or slow an exchange of hot and cold air.

You will be surprised how large the temperature difference is between two rooms,  divided with a simple bed sheet!

Hang your sheets (or whatever you have at hand) close to the walls without them making contact.

If you have a tent; Pitch it and create a "warm room" for yourself, if you do not have a tent: Build a fort with sheets/blankets stretched over furniture and string.

The whole idea is to minimize the volume of air you need to heat.

Beware of open fire:

- if you use a portable gas heater: REMEMBER TO VENTILATE! Even a gas heater uses oxygen.

- using GRILLS to heat your place will kill you. because of carbon monoxide poisoning.Period.

- yes you can heat a room with candles, but the amount of candles, the  soot produced and oxygen consumed far outweigh the benefits!

- pressurized petroleum lamps should NOT BE USED INDOORS.

Passive heating:

The best way is to heat a space using methods not using oxygen: Electrical heaters (if you have power), taking curtains off during sunshine hours or taking hot bricks out of a fire and taking them inside.

(That will be the advent of the advent of the warming pans for beds)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Foxhole Radio

Foxhole Radios work without batteries but use the "power of airwaves". I always liked the idea to have a power independent radio. So I decided to build a Foxhole Radio out of items I can find in my house or can expect to find in any other average household, without buying the items included in a shop.

It seemed so simple..but turned out to be a bit challenging:

There a literally hundreds of instructions on how to make a Foxhole Radio, but I could not get it to work with the materials available...or its just me.

But then SUPERBOY came and saved the day!

Even a retard like me could understand the instruction given by him, I had to improvise a bit though:

-Instead of  cotton clad wire I just used ordinary wire from old cables, I gave it a coat with resin for violin bows (Yes, I play..) I just had to be careful that the wire was resin free on the connection points. Hairspray or bee wax also works fine!

- I had to make the razor blade "blue" by holding it into a candle flame until it...well...turned BLUE.

Btw: This also works with a RUSTY razor blade! I guess that`s good to know....

Enough of my yapping! I give the word to the Boy-Of-Steel....he explains it far better than I ever will be able to!

And here the results: I manage to get a local radio FM station playing ABBA 😀

David Lynch`s Dune (1984)

The first filmatization of Frank Herbert`s DUNE novel was universally hated when released over 30 years ago.  Even those who actually read the brick of a book, had a hard time to understand what the heck was going on in Lynch`s incomprehensible dark universe.

Janet Mosling, a NYT film critic, wrote: 

"Several of the characters in DUNE are psychic, which puts them in the unique position of being able to understand what goes on in the movie."

More questions?

Personally I think that DUNE is one of the most misunderstood movies: Turning the complex universe from Herbert`s novel into a movie is near impossible without taking some freedoms with the content or universe. And Lynch`s dark, twisted vision is actually giving a pretty good feel of what a feudal, low-tech society would be like some 20.000 years from now.

Since the early seventies the concept of DUNE as film was already burning money as it went from directors like Ridley Scott over  Alejandro Jodorowsky (who has not read the book and did not intended to do so...he probably would have made a bigger mess than Lynch) and finally to Lynch.

In 1998 I visited a BlockBuster to rent some DVD`s with some friends and had to "sell" DUNE to them:

"So, there is this feudal, spacefaring society in the far future where computers are outlawed..."

"Like Star Wars?"

"No, not like Star Wars AT ALL: No blasters, no x-wings and no droids"


"But a lot of knife fights, everybody is on a mind expanding drug which also prolongs life and.."


"Yeah, that drug is part of the reproduction cycle of some kilometer long worms on a desert planet and is actually the basis of that societies economy. A 15 year old aristocrat gets addicted and gets so high that everybody thinks he is the messiah!" 

(I really wanted them to see that film!)

"Cool! We take it!!"

If you haven`t watched DUNE, try to watch the 3 hour long extended version. It is out on youtube somewhere.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Hand Crank Generator

The Freeplay Freecharge is one of my favorite pieces of equipment:

It is small but powerful and can charge most small devices...and even power a normal radio with a normal 12V/230V Car inverter.

It actually is one of the first things I bought when I got interested in emergency preparation. Its size/output ratio appealed to me and also that it is near to indestructible.

The Freecharge has a 12V outlet, the reason for this is that the producer (correctly) assumed that that outlet is the most universal there is. 12V/USB adaptors can be bought in any supermarket nowadays.

Enough talking! I made a short and amateurish video for you enjoyment (also so you can enjoy my super cool finger gloves!)

Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)

What can I say?

An epic movie about a larger than life person, who driven by ego managed to unite warring Arab tribes against the Turks during World War 1.

If the house was on fire and I had to chose which film to save: This would be among the first three I would clutch to my chest an run outside to join my family. 

My (much better) half will probably shake her head....

The movie manages to capture the feeling of being lost between two worlds from T.E Lawrence`s 
(That`s Lawrence Of Arabias real name) book "Seven Pillars Of Wisdom" and the perpetual outsiders  alienation and struggle for identity.

I guess that`s what made this movie so appealing for me when I first saw it in the beginning of the nineties.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Tree Bark Bread ( aka "Survival Bread")

This is, strictly speaking, not a "survival bread" but just a method (taught to me during field training) to substitute flour with tree bark and ground, wild seeds.

I use my old mess tin for it, but thick walled cans can also be used!

My trusty mess tin.

I start by making a rasp to get bark "flour".
For this you need a jam jar with lid.

Punch a lot of holes in the lid.

This creates a lot of holes with jagged edges: A perfect rasp!

Rasping the bark of a spruce.
( I asked for permission first!!)
Voila! Spruce "flour"!

I also have a lot of "flour" made from birch bark, so I just add it.

Now we take real flour and dry yeast.
I could go out in the field to gather wild seeds and grind them into
flour, but I am lazy and use flour from the shop.

It does not HAVE to be dry yeast, you can also use Sodium Carbonate.

All ingredients on board!

Add water until the dough is firm but sticky.

Make your hands wet to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers.

Put the dough in the mess tin with plenty of space to all sides.
Make sure the sides are covered by a thin layer of leftover flour.

All set!

In the fire you go!
Cover the whole thing with a layer of embers.
Wait 25-30 minutes.

And we have bread!

Probably the best tasting bread you ever had!
Because its made in a camp fire, THAT`S WHY!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Survival Hammock

This has been called a "Survival Hammock" several places on the interwebz but I know it as a improvised rack/shelf/storage in Submarines and Missile Torpedo boats.

But you can definitely also use it as a the UNLIKELY event that you have 15 m of rope but nothing else ☺

If you prefer videos to pictures: Just scroll to the bottom of this page, I linked a video I made
The survival hammock used in anger with a tarp or
attache to the head line.

The improvised ("Survival") hammock.

Start with a bowline...

...and stretch the rope over to another tree.

Do a friction lock...

...and run the rope 70-100 cm lower down.

Now lead the rope back to the first tree and back again
so you have two parallel lines.

Create a mesh by criss crossing the rope diagonally.

To make the hammock more stable/comfortable: Run the last rope
over/under the mesh.
Nap time!

I also made this tutorial video: It is my first time I try this, so bear with me!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Improvised Backpack

You can improvise a backpack out of almost anything; From curtains over sheets of plastic to tarps.

I really like that solution since its cheap, easily made and very comfortable to carry, well unless you roll to many things into the place where your neck is going to be.

I like to use my hammock/tarp for this type of backpack.

A good, old military blanket to keep me warm.

A survival plastic bag to keep me out of wind and rain.

I will be gone for 2 days, so I pack some clothes.

And pack it as small as possible...

...using a method...

...I learned in the Danish Navy... have ready-sets of clothes...


...into the size of socks.


Heavy items like cans go to the two ends.

Moose Soup...everything a big boy needs.

Radio/Charger and toothbrush.

Cookies for morale.

Now we roll....

Close the ends with string.

A good idea is to create sections with strings and a slipknot so the 
don`t shift.


It is a very comfortable rig considered that it is improvised.
As long you remember to pack soft items where your neck
and shoulders are!